Will We Have A Goldilocks Treatment Regimen for Multiple Myeloma? Dr. Tricot Discusses MRD or Minimum Residual Disease

The treatment of multiple myeloma has always seemed a little like playing darts with  a blindfold on.  We never really know if we have hit the target, or if we did, how close we were.  This is because we have had no measurement of disease burden which would let us know if we have achieved a full molecular remission.  We are told by many that it is incurable, and there will always be some of those nasty myeloma cells hiding someplace in our bone marrow, or hiding in an inactive lytic lesion, just waiting to rise up and kick us in the teeth one more time.   Dr. Tricot states in one of his  publications that when patients reach a strictly defined CR, they still may have up to 1 billion myeloma cells remaining. 

But now there is a hope that we may have a new measure of disease burden, called MRD or Minimum Residual Disease.  Dr. Guido Tricot will be discussing MRD and its implications for the treatment of multiple myeloma.  His work on improved disease measurement goes back over a decade, and he was one of the researchers at UAMS who developed the Total Therapy protocol.  The IMF’s (International Myeloma Foundation) Black Swan initative is centered on finding a  MRD measurement method which will tell when the disease has been eradicated down to the point at which CURE is achieved.  

Dr. Tricot will be discussing the topic of MRD on the Cure Panel September 17th broadcast at 6:00 pm EST.  You can sign up to ask questions on air, get details on how to listen live, or listen to a later broadcast if you CLICK HERE.

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So why do I think this may just be a way to come up with a Goldilocks Regimen?   Without a measurement tool with the accuracy to show levels of disease so low that cure is achieved, we will continue to have protocols that go from More is Cure to Less is Best.

With MRD we should be able to determine if a treatment is working, and have an idea as to when the treatment has achieved the optimal result. We have an opportunity to make sure the treatment is NOT TOO HARD, NOT TOO LITTLE, BUT JUST RIGHT.  Like an old boss of mine once said, “You can not manage that which you do not or can not measure.”    

Finally we have an accurate measure with MRD .I believe we are at the cusp of a new era of myeloma treatment with a CURE within our grasp.

Good luck and may God Bless your Cancer Journey.   For more information on multiple myeloma survival rates and treatments CLICK HERE and you can follow me on twitter at: https://twitter.com/grpetersen1